Understanding your genes is a great way to understand certain things about yourself — yet, who we are is determined by so much more than just DNA.
Alan Porritt/AAP Image
Same-sex sexual behaviour presents a paradox: it’s influenced by genes, but how and why do these genes continue to be passed down the generations? One theory is they have reproductive benefits too.
Two decades after the ‘full’ human genetic code was released to global fanfare, researchers have finally filled in the blanks that made up 8% of the sequence, thanks to recent advances in genome sequencing.
People with this gene variant shivered less and had a higher core body temperature when exposed to cold water.
Dudarev Mikhail/ Shutterstock
Around 1.5 billion people worldwide have this common genetic variant.
A study of more than 1.7 million people has revealed 41 distinct genetic regions associated with left-handedness, and another 7 tied to ambidexterity.
Our approach to controversial technologies shouldn’t be guided by scientists alone, nor by peddlers of misinformation on social media. A citizens’ assembly could walk the line between the two.
What’s the best way to put the brakes on current research?
Scientists and ethicists have called for a five-year moratorium on editing human genes that will pass on to future generations. Yes, society needs to figure out how to proceed – but is this the best way?
New technology means accessing new information from ancient human remains, some which have been in collections for decades.
Ancient DNA allows scientists to learn directly from the remains of people from the past. As this new field takes off, researchers are figuring out how to ethically work with ancient samples and each other.
Genetics is influencing more and more of our decisions, but we can’t make the right choices if we don’t understand it.
Lake Mungo and the surrounding Willandra Lakes of NSW were established around 150,000 years ago.
New techniques for genetic analysis are helping us build more detailed and accurate stories about the ancient histories of the first Australians.
When a cell divides, mitochondria are randomly allotted to the resulting new cells.
Odra Noel. Wellcome Images
The genes in our cells’ mitochondria are passed on in a different way than the vast majority of our DNA. New studies shed light on how the unique process isn’t derailed by mutations.
Roughly 10 per cent of the population is left-handed, like President Barack Obama, seen here signing the guest book on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in June 2016.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Handedness is the tendency to prefer using one hand over the other to perform certain tasks. But how did we get this way?
A scientist works with DNA samples in a New Orleans laboratory in 2011.
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
The rapid growth of genetic testing and data-gathering could revolutionize health and medicine if governments work to protect people against privacy and societal risks.
With all these ‘test-tube babies’ grown up, how have our reactions to the technology evolved?
AP Photo/Alastair Grant
Americans have moved on from worrying about ‘test-tube babies’ – but there are still ethical challenges to resolve as reproductive technologies continue to advance.
There’s still a way to go from editing single-cell embryos to a full-term ‘designer baby.’
The news may have come as a surprise, but it probably shouldn’t have. A bioethics expert walks through how big a deal this announcement is – and what we should be considering now.
Our cells have a built-in genetic clock, tracking time… but how accurately?
Stopwatch image via www.shutterstock.com.
How do scientists figure out when evolutionary events – like species splitting away from a common ancestor – happened? It turns out our DNA is a kind of molecular clock, keeping time via genetic changes.
Unravelling the common assumption that runners from Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia have a natural advantage.
DNA Nation raises questions of genetics, identity and race.
The SBS documentary DNA Nation tracks three people on their ‘individual genetic journey’. But for Indigenous Australians in particular, genetic testing is a can of worms - politically, ethically and technically.
People get suspicious when ethically fraught science is discussed behind closed doors.
DNA image via www.shutterstock.com.
A recent closed meeting about building synthetic genomes raised suspicions about just what scientists were planning, away from the public eye.
Study finds that gene linked to risk-taking is associated with losing your virginity early.